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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Can 4H really make DD? Low diamond to Q and club shift. Now South has to pull 3 rounds to avoid club ruff, spade loser (2-7-9-A), diamond ruffed in hand and south can pitch one of dummy's clubs on spade, but not both—losing 2S+1D+1C. So par is 4HX-1 white, but I'm obviously missing something.
June 7, 2016
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I disagree. I think BLUE is the most useful tool ever for squeezes. I do agree that RFL, which I call Rifle, is very tough and I have replaced it with UFO for “under Free over”. No one said the inverted B-1 double squeezes and Compound Squeezes were easy. Simple BLUE covers about 93% and UFO another 5% of squeezes. The rest you have to feel your way through.
June 7, 2016
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i tend to agree. Someone, maybe Edgar Kaplan, said that many are afraid to face the rebid problems. Regarding 19hcp 2NT when 20-21 or 20-22- are on card should be ok only for the super-19s that evaluate better–due to lots of spots, 5+ card suits, extra controls, etc. For similar reasons as upgrading a 14Hcp hand to 1NT or upgrading a 17hcp out of 1NT or upgrading a 21hcp hand to 2C. As far as stiff honors, I've done it but I think it is currently being vastly abused.
June 7, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment June 7, 2016
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It's surprising to me that neither strong declarer could make the 13th trick. Since the club threat is in dummy, isolating the diamond menace an running the spades, pitching a heart from dummy to use 3rd heart in hand for threat should be routine. Cashing clubs before the last trump may not be that obvious to some. If hearts are 3-3 it won't work, (no U in BLUE against West) but that's the best shot. Chapter 2 in Love's text. Neil Silverman's comments are all perfectly on point.
June 7, 2016
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I would think the unguarding of the club king would at least offset the sixth diamond, and while I might upgrade AKx Q10x KQxxx Kx, most of the players in any club game, sectional or regional are going to point count their way to a 1NT opener. I don't personally feel this 3=3=6=1 hand is overstrength for 1NT, but I'd rather open 1D and face the inevitable rebid problem.
June 7, 2016
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Yu: While there have been many books on squeezes written since, Bridge Squeezes Complete (1959) by Clyde Elton Love (a math professor) is by far the classic text on the subject. Most of the current squeeze nomenclature comes from his book. I've read it about 6 times. It's beginning to sink in! I think there is an updated version out there.
June 7, 2016
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Thank you all for your comments. This hand was taken from September 1978 Bridge World, Problem ©. AT THAT TIME the voting was:
1S=100 (14/30 expert votes, 29% solvers)
3D=60 (6 expert votes, 37% solvers)
3H=40 (4 expert votes, 14% solvers)
2NT=30 (2 expert votes, 0% solvers)
2D and 2H each garnished 2 expert votes and scored 20.
June 7, 2016
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Kit, thanks. I could have constructed x Kxx AKQx Jxxxx but I wanted to be a little less lopsided in presentation. What I have found is that whenever someone rebids 1NT with a small stiff spade, we/they are always vulnerable and jump rebid 3S relying on a doubleton with 9-10 hcp and a GOOD 6-bagger, resulting in down 1 or 2, -100 or disaster -200.
Without the 1NT rebid one might content himself/herself with 2S, resulting in -100 or +110. Anyway, that's my personal experience dating back to Goren's Sports Illustrated Bridge columns!
June 6, 2016
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Really Alan? REALLY? 1NT with a small singleton? Am I that far out of touch? I wouldn't have ever considered it, not in 10^316 years.
Oh, sorry Alan, correction. I thought you were referring to the problem hand, not the 2=2=4=5 hand. I wouldn't open THAT 1NT either, but at least its not extraterresrial. Actually, I find a 1NT rebid MORE appealing with 2=2=4=5 than with 1=3=4=5 (low stiff spade).
June 6, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment June 6, 2016
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i thought the purpose of opening 1D would be to bid 2C next. To bid BOTH shorter suits ahead of the longest suit seems impractical. Whenever I am dealt this horror-shape in a minimum I hope for stiff A, K or Q so I can rebid 1NT without guilt. Apparently half the panel has no guilt whatsoever—which is exactly why I posed this problem.
June 6, 2016
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It may not be that close a parallel, but in standard Flannery defense over 2D (4S+5H) the 2S bid is completely natural, so ability to bid spades into a known 4 card suit has some precedence. (X=NT overcall with H stop, 2H=T/O of Hearts,2NT for minors, all else natural).
If you buy into this consistency, you need 3S as natural (I guess) so 3D=competitive in diamonds, 3C=Inv.+ in diamonds and 3H as forcing. If you need 3H as competit/invit., perhaps you have to nest two meanings into one bid and pray.
Have no idea what is best, just postulating.
June 6, 2016
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the stiff queen, puny as it may seem often helps in defense when partner has JXX or Kx. Conversely Jxx often helps a bit on both offense and defense opposite partners honor. Personally I Would open 2S with just AKQ9xx but would open 1 with the actual hand. And with 1 red out of two…??
June 5, 2016
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Well, it's a great FOURTH CHAIR weak 2!
June 5, 2016
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In a perfect world it's probably right to preempt, but you are going WAY against the field. Those who are highly opinionated should comment on preempting with just AKQxxx and out, the value of stiff queen and value of Jxx. The comment that one is OK but both are too much seems the most balanced approach. Partner should expect some defense, however modest, outside of suit for a 1-bid. IMO
June 5, 2016
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For a 24 board club game the standard deviation would be about 0.84, for a 26 board tournament, about 0.81. So less than 9 wouldn't be that uncommon, maybe once in 10 or so, but as Tom Allan accurately said, 7.5 is about 3 SDs from mean. I don't have a table in front of me, but from what I recall that's about 0.15% (~1/670) for <=7.5HCP and similarly 0.15% for >=12.5hcp.

Uncommon but roughly similar to being dealt a pat flush in poker, about 1/509. (That's (1287-10)/2598960)
June 5, 2016
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All systems have their weakness, and perhaps one weakness of ACOL is that 1S-2C-2S is not forcing, requiring a semi-artificial 2H or a stultifying 3S if you deem the control rich 14 count worthy of a 3S bid. Even in most 2/1 systems that aren't 100% game forcing, it is common for 2C to promise another bid, so many strong hands with weaker spades and no good temporizing bid often bid an understrength 2S and try to compensate later. (And 2D as an artificial catchall is not without its own weaknesses). I know this is common in every version use in Bridge World's Master Solvers Quiz, from the BWS68 version through the BWS84 and current BWS2001 version.
June 5, 2016
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it would be a much more interesting hand at Matchpoints trying for a 13th trick by either ruffing a second diamond low needing 4-3 or ruffing high and hoping for 3-2 spades as well. Conservative me will take Brad's IMP line, thank you.
June 4, 2016
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Brad: Your line looks ideal to me.! :)
June 4, 2016
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Brett: how did your auction go and why was it easier to get to 6S with a 2D start than with 2C? If your minors were reversed would you have also started with 2D?
June 4, 2016
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Great point David. In a game forcing auction it seems much better to get in both majors quickly, especially as 1S-2C-2H-2S and 1S-2C-2H-2NT/3H seem more economical than rebidding spades and then either rebidding 3H over 2NT or having partner wonder whether to raise spades on Qx and hide 4hearts, or not raise and hope for 3H rebid and miss a strong 6-2 fit.
So I think 1S-2C-2S should tend to deny 4Hearts. 7-4s and AKQTxx Txxx Kx x could be exceptions.
June 4, 2016
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